“I’M SORRY’, JUST DOESN’T CUT IT!” Sunday Sermonette

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Colossians 3:13 NIV


Read:   Colossians 3: 12-17


Has someone mumbled a half-hearted “I’m sorry” and it came across as insincere or was said only because they felt obligated to say it?   It is disappointing when this happens.


But, what if it was you who mumbled those insincere words?  When you are in error or have wronged someone in business, financially, personally or emotionally, do you accept your responsibility of making good on your wrong?


Of course, it starts with saying you are sorry.  Those words can start the healing process, but they do not need to be mumblings.  Your words need to be from the heart with the very best intentions.  But, there is more.  Your actions need to reflect your well chosen words.


When you say you are sorry, enforce your request for forgiveness with actions.   This is the time to act.  Show the person you offended how sincere you are.  Make amends.   Undo the wrong you committed.   Doing something to reverse your previous actions will not always be easy.   Correcting your mistake will likely be much, much more difficult than if you had done the right thing in the first place.   Now, you must not only right the wrong, but also remove the stigma of the wrong you put on someone else.  Give back more…much more…than you took or pain caused.  Accept full responsibility and be generous in your restitution.


How do you do these things?   Start with GOD.  Ask HIM what you should do.  If you listen carefully, you probably will find what GOD wants of you is more than what you want to do.   This new situation can be embarrassing to you, but big dose of humility is a cheap price to pay to correct the wrong.


CHRIST shed HIS blood upon the cross to forgive you for all the wrongs you have done.  Surely, you can restore others the losses they have suffered at your hands and ask them sincerely to forgive you.


Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD, for forgiving me when I wrong YOU.   Help me to ask others to forgive me and to do all I can do to restore those when I wrong them.   Amen.”




 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV


Read:   Proverbs 3:1-8

It is a common assumption in our society that men refuse to ask directions and will drive in circles for hours while looking for their destination.   Even with GPS in our cars, there are times we don’t even trust it and rely on our own judgment…or lack of judgment…while driving a lost course.


If the scenario is true to you or not, we all can be so self dependent we rely on our own mindsets instead of asking for assistance from someone who knows better.


GOD warned us of this destructive quality in our sin nature.  Our self dependence is so great at times it destroys our reasoning and our ability to think and act logically.   Our misguided value of our own abilities can separate us from our HEAVENLY FATHER.


Are you lost?   Has your own trust in your abilities destroyed your faith and trust in our TRIUNE GOD?   Do you not need GOD anymore?   Or do you need HIM only when you decide?


We all need to trust GOD in all things.   Our selfish independence is a wedge dividing us from our LORD.   We need to take all our thoughts and decisions to HIM before we take action.   And, not just the big things.  GOD wants to hear our prayers ‘continually’.


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1Thessalonians 5:16,17,18 NIV. 


Today’s prayer:  “LORD, Thank YOU for hearing all my prayers.   Thank YOU for caring about my fears and doubts, about my pains and about my every question I bring to YOU in prayer.   Amen.”



“DON’T EVER COMPROMISE!” Sunday Sermonette

“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said.”  2Corinthians: 6:16 NIV


Read:   2Corinthians 6: 14-18


Have you ever been in a disagreement and decided a compromise was the best solution?   Was it?   Chances are you were not happy with the solution or you actually got your way and the other person was disappointed.  Usually, with a compromise, it is lop-sided and there is a very clear winner and loser.


Instead, find a solution that does not benefit either, but both can agree with and accept.   An example could be, a couple needs a new car.  He wants bright red and she wants baby blue.   Neither would be happy with the other’s choice.   But, both would be happy with a silver grey.   Coming to mutual terms avoids the problems created by compromise.   Settling differences by mutual agreement allows both to get some of what they wanted equally and there is no loser.


Don’t compromise your faith.   Your faith is a relationship with GOD alone.  If you compromise even a small part of your faith, you are abandoning GOD.   When you turn your back on GOD, you are turning to Satan in some manner.   You can’t have it both ways.


From Genesis to Revelation, GOD gives us HIS statutes with real examples of how others have and have not obeyed.   There are no compromises in GOD’S Word, just the truth…the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD, for giving me direction and guidance so that I never have to compromise YOUR teachings and commands.   Hold my hand when difficult situations present themselves.  Amen.”



“STOP! DON’T TRY THAT!” Wednesday Minute

“By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”   Hebrews 11:29 NIV


Read:   Hebrews 11


Have you ever tried to do something and failed at it?   Of course!  In fact, everything you have tried to do, you have failed.   You see there is a world of difference in trying and doing.


When you try, you fail.   When you do, you do.  As complex as some things are, it is that simple.  Trying is trying.  Doing is doing.  By definition, trying is attempting.   When you attempt, you never complete the task…you attempt it.


When you clean your house, you clean it.  You don’t try to clean it.  You house is clean because you did not try to clean it you did it.  When you study scripture, you study GOD’S word.   You don’t try to study.   You do it.   When you love someone, you don’t try to love them.   You love them with all your heart and soul.  Being a Christian is being a Christian.   It is not trying to be.   Doing is knowing you will be successful because you have faith.


Our sin nature will cause us to fail sometimes.  But, failure when you are doing what you should be doing is much better than failing because of constantly trying over and over.


It is more than just attitude.   It is faith.  It is depending upon our TRIUNE GOD to help you along.  You can try on your own or you can have faith and do all GOD has for you with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT HE has indwelled within you.


We need to be like JESUS.   JESUS did.  HE never tried.  Accept the love of GOD in all you ‘do’ all you do in faith.


Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, JESUS for all YOU do for me.   Help me today to do as YOU would want me to do.   Take away the false crutch of trying and be with me as I successfully do all I do.  Amen.”




“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  Genesis 50:20 NIV


Read:   Genesis 50:15-26


How would you like to pray to GOD and know that HE has heard you by answering your prayer immediately?   When you ask for that new car or your boss giving you a huge raise, GOD gives it to you.   When you have an illness or are suffering in pain, GOD makes it all go away.


While GOD can put things in order to give you a new car, a raise, heal your illness or take your pain away immediately, these are not the answered prayers HE promised.


GOD will answer your prayers that serve HIS purpose, not what you decide you need or what you want.   Your laundry list of wants may not be…probably are not…the things GOD has in store for you.


What you may believe are unanswered prayers are really answered prayers.   GOD says ‘no’.   We need to understand that ‘no’ is an immediate answer to our prayers at the time.   Yes, GOD allows suffering and disappointments for HIS greater purpose.   We are not GOD and we do not have the wisdom or knowledge of GOD and lack the understanding of what GOD’S greater plan is.  But, we can accept HIS plan.


Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers.  But, unknown to them and him, he was exactly where GOD wanted him to be to fulfill a greater need.  He suffered and was falsely accused and jailed for a crime he never committed.   Still, GOD used him to witness in a foreign land, raised to a position of authority and ultimately to supply food and a new home to his brothers and family.


GOD gives us answers to all our prayers immediately.   We just need to listen in order to hear HIS immediate answers.   ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are both answers to our prayers.


Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, GOD, for answering all my prayers.  Give me the patience, understand and acceptance of YOUR answer so that I do not depend upon my selfish desires.   Amen.”



“People will be lovers of themselves…boastful, proud, abusive…ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited…Have nothing to do with such people.”  2Timothy 3:2-5 NIV


Read:   2Timothy 3:2-9


It is said, there are two types of controlling people.  One is like the king on his throne.   He rules as he alone decides.   His way is the only way or at least it is the best way as he perceives it, since he is never wrong and never can be questioned.   His actions are absolute and he cares little about others.


The other controlling person is motivated by his desire to fix everything.    He takes control of things that are wrong or people who need help and he rules the situation in order to help.   This person takes control in order to protect others from the wrong things that can happen.   He cares, sometimes, too much.   Often, he takes on so much, he works to control so many things he is physically and emotionally exhausted.


We all fit into one of these two personalities at one time or another.   Which one are you?   Are you right, even when you are wrong?   Are you never wrong or are you stepping into situations that in truth you can never fix?   Only GOD is never wrong.   Only GOD has absolute control.


Peter was a controlling person motivated to fix things.   That may be the reason JESUS selected him.  But, too much of a good thing in excess may not be all that good.  When JESUS was arrested, it was Peter who drew his blade and cut off the servant’s ear.


Are you like Peter attempting to do good…sometimes to no benefit to others or do you prefer to be the king whom no one should ever question? Now might be the right time to talk to JESUS about what you should or should not do.  Easy on the desire to control!


Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, MY LORD, Thank you for watching over me.   Please give me judgment and wisdom in all that I do.   Help me use my power to help responsibly and never to rule over others.  Amen.  ”



“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6 NIV


Read:   Philippians 4:4-9


Do you have a restless heart?   Do you harbor an anxious, searching attitude?  Are you always searching for something better or new?  It seems there are times each of us have unsettled moments.   We search for the peace and consolation from situations that seemingly have no resolutions.


Others are restless in their outlook.   They have a longing for something different.   Many search but have no idea what they are searching for.  They spend their life going from job to job.  They may move from city to city.   Some buy one thing and once the new wears off, they are off to replace it.  Often, some search for love going from spouse to spouse, never appreciating what they do have.


If you have a restless heart, you don’t have to feel anxious, uneasy or constantly searching for something different.  You can have peace in your heart and mind.


Today’s scripture verse is your answer.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”   When you are plagued with the difficulties and uncertainties in your life, take them to GOD.   Now, you have a permanent solution for those anxious times.   Instead of searching constantly for newer and changing situations, lay those problems at the foot of JESUS’ cross.


Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD, for always being with me in every situation.   I am leaving all my anxious moments with YOU.  I have YOU and need nothing else.   Amen.”





” Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV


Read:  1Thessalonians 5:12-28


Years ago, there was a popular song about thanking GOD for unanswered prayers.  Thinking back, I too can remember times I asked GOD for something that I did not need or it was not the time to ask.   You probably can remember times you are also thankful for those times it seemed GOD did not answer your prayers.


Have you told GOD ‘thank you’ for protecting you when you thought HE did not answer your prayer request?    If not, isn’t it time?


How about all those times GOD did clearly answer your prayers?   It may have been when you were waiting for medical test results and all turned out O.K.  Or, when you prayed for a new job and GOD provided.  Maybe, you were praying for the safety of someone else; your son in a battle torn part of the world or a child’s misguided choices.


Prayer is your daily lifeblood.   Your life will be so much better, even easier when you spend time with your LORD.   You may have a long list of things are asking GOD for or you may be asking for HIS guidance in a situation.  No matter the reason you are in prayer, always…always…start with a sincere, obedient ‘thank you’.  How do you feel when someone tells you ‘thank you’?   Imagine how GOD must feel when you thank HIM for all your answered prayers and unanswered prayers.   Yes, even those unanswered prayers were HIS answers.


If you are ever unsure of GOD’S answers to your prayers…listen and HE will tell you.


Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD, for all of YOUR answers to my prayers.   Help me to understand with clarity YOUR answers to all I ask and to know that unanswered prayers are truly answered.  Amen.”



” Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.”  James 5:7 NIV


Read:   James 5:7-11


There are times when I think I have things figured out or have a planned schedule, it seems GOD has a different plan.   So it has been with the completion of the Pastors’ Retreat in Aransas Pass.   Delay after delay.


Our scheduled open house has been rescheduled now twice.  Now we are forced to reschedule it again. Labor, both hired and volunteered, has been almost non-existent lately.  It has been only one skilled craftsman and me and too many things to do.


Now, the September 8 open house is being re-scheduled to September 15, Saturday, from 2 to 5 p.m.  With GOD’S blessings, this should be a very firm date.


Waiting is hard to do.   Abraham and Sarah waited for their child and made bad decisions trying to do on their own what only GOD could do.  When Moses was on the mountain with GOD receiving the Ten Commandments, the people were impatient and melted down their gold to create an idol calf to worship.


We may feel disappointed in waiting for things we want, but GOD has a plan…a better plan.  We need to wait for HIM and HIS timetable.   We don’t need to anguish over changes of plans or be disappointed that schedules cannot be completed.   Our greatest plans are achieved when we submit to GOD’S timetable.


Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD, for having a better plan than I could ever imagine.   Forgive my impatience and my earthly efforts.  I will rejoice in YOUR timetable.  Amen.”